Hidden Dining Hotspots In Manhattan To Must Visit In 2023

March 9, 2023

Have you ever thought of Manhattan’s hidden gems—the less well-known eating destinations in New York City where locals flock to savor outstanding food, pastry.

Or cocktails—the last time you visited the USA’s most populous city (or while planning the visit)?

Every tourist to New York City may grab a guidebook or search on the Internet for the Big Apple’s most recognizable restaurants and bars. To help you get the most out of your holiday in NYC, more precisely Manhattan, we’re highlighting some hidden culinary treasures and offering some insider tips. We discovered a wide range of stuff that locals adore, including genuine Japanese cuisine, well-known French and Mexican dishes, American pastries, Asian fusion cuisine, and more. These well-liked food establishments range from classy and sophisticated to odd and charming. Keep reading as we choose our top ten choices:

Upper East Side

Up Thai (1411 2nd Ave. #1)

Particularly when made with ingredients purchased from reliable farmers and vendors, fresh Thai cuisine is satisfying. This is the staff’s policy at Up Thai, a diamond in the rough on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where the menu is always changing to reflect what’s new and in vogue. In case you’re one of an increasing number of people across the world who switched to predominantly eating organic food, which you either ordered through organic meal delivery services or bought yourself, this is the perfect place for you.

The vibrant Thai food on their extensive menu, which features soups, seasonal faves, noodles, salads, rice, inventive cocktails, and appetizers, will have you craving it after just one look at their menu. Up Thai delivers if you want to stay in your accommodation and relax.


Chez Josephine (414 West 42nd Street)

Take a trip back to 1930s Paris and experience “Le Jazz Hot with Soul”. This is the pledge made at Chez Josephine, a venue dedicated to the performer of the same name, Josephine Baker.

It’s the ideal location for a classy late-night dinner and a few drinks after seeing a Broadway performance. Every night, live piano music is provided while you dine on French-American cuisine in a quaint setting with sophisticated accents.

The Campbell (15 Vanderbilt Avenue)

The Campbell is one of the most prominent examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the city, regardless of how you got there or if your route through Grand Central Station involved it. This prestigious New York restaurant is organized into three separate locations, each with a particular atmosphere, and is located inside the southwest corner of Grand Central Terminal: The Campbell Bar, The Campbell Terrace, and The Campbell Palm Court.

The meal selection is mostly confined to “hors d’oeuvres” along with the most basic light fare, so stick to the wine and spirits. Every Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., live jazz is performed at The Campbell. You can listen to the music while sipping a glass of Laphroaig or Basil Hayden. Each of these three places is incredibly elegant.

Downtown/Lower Manhattan

L’Appart (225 Liberty Street)

A “bespoke” experience is what L’Appart describes as being created for the customers, who can enjoy French food that is tailored to their specific tastes, by Michelin Star chef Nicolas “Nico” Abello and his team.

For the gastronome who’d rather experience everything, L’Appart also offers a tasting menu option. The selections change according to seasons and availability. Enjoy a multi-course meal that has been expertly prepared or ordered à la carte as the connoisseur of wine peruses the outstanding wine list. Make your visit to this hidden gem your focus.

Cafe Cluny (284 West 12th Street)

Cafe Cluny is a hidden treasure in Greenwich Village that provides a diverse menu all day long and is now open for breakfast. Come for lunch, dinner, or a weekend brunch. You may also stop by in the evening for dessert and drinks. From New York strip steak and roast chicken to soup, sandwiches, and lighter meals, the menu has something for everyone.

Call or use OpenTable to make reservations.

Tiny’s & The Bar Upstairs (135 West Broadway)

You should be drawn inside this duo of eateries tucked away in TriBeCa just by the titles alone. Tiny’s offers a diverse menu of contemporary comfort foods, such as crispy chicken waffle sandwiches, desserts, and on-trend dishes, such as citrus ceviche, for the adventurous palette.

Within this delectably cozy neighborhood bar, Upstairs, you’ll discover a wide range of beer, wine, and creative cocktails on the menu.


Karasu (166 Dekalb Avenue)

Make Karasu your culinary excursion throughout the East River if you’re looking for a Brooklyn restaurant that’s been kept secret—and you’re eager for a vibrant culinary journey. The food served here is supposed to be shared and reflects the “washoku” philosophy of a balanced meal in terms of colors, flavors, and textures. It’s not just about Japanese cuisine, but additionally about the culture. Together with your favorite Japanese spirits, expect to find traditional Japanese food and creative spins on traditional drinks.

Please be aware that the kitchen shuts down 30 minutes before the restaurant closes, which is Monday-Thursday at 11:00 PM (on Tuesdays, it’s closed), Friday and Saturday at midnight, and Sunday at 10:00 PM.

Upper West Side

Sushi Yasaka (251 West 72nd Street)

Sushi Yasaka is a great pre-curtain choice for either lunch or dinner if your trip to NYC includes tickets to a show at Lincoln Center. Traditional Japanese teriyaki, steak, and maki are all available at this Upper West Side hidden gem, along with traditional sushi and sashimi made with care and fresh ingredients.

Sushi Yasaka is within a 10-minute walk from Lincoln Center.

Multi-Location Restaurants

Buttercup Bake Shop

  • Midtown East (973 2nd Avenue)
  • Midtown (167 Madison Avenue)
  • Greenwich Village (61 E. 8th Street)
  • Downtown (200 Broadway)

From “sunrise to night”, satisfy your sugar appetite at Buttercup Bake Shop in NYC, a secret gem where some claim the banana pudding surpasses the standout dessert at a renowned eatery on Bleeker Street that was also started by Buttercup owner Jennifer Appel. This celebrity-endorsed candy shop features a variety of tiny bits, breakfast pastries, take-home cakes, and pies, as well as traditional American desserts completed with 100% buttercream frosting.

La Esquina

  • Upper East Side (1402 2nd Avenue)
  • Downtown (114 Kenmare Street)
  • Midtown (200 West 55th Street)

One NY Times writer of La Esquina made the joke that it was similar to Studio 54 but with chipotle instead of cocaine. La Esquina, which bills itself as a genuine Mexican cantina, cafe, taqueria, and brasserie, has three “secret” locations in New York City: one on the Upper East Side, one next to Rockefeller Center, and one in Lower Manhattan.

This unique establishment won’t let you down if you need something filling right away. When it attracts a chic, artistic audience on a daily basis, you know it’s fantastic. The brasserie at 114 Kenmare, commonly referred to as La Esquina’s “tavern in a cavern”, offers a speakeasy-style experience where you may eat and drink in a space where edgy and elegance combine.

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